Team India’s fielding coach R Sridhar revealed bowling coach Bharat Arun’s advice to Mohammed Siraj which helped the latter thrive in the second Test at Lord’s. Siraj was instrumental in scripting the fairytale comeback of the Indian team at Lord’s against England.
At the start of play on Day 5, India was in a spot of bother having just lost Rishabh Pant with the lead hovering around the 200-run mark. A crucial lower-order partnership between Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Shami then ensued, taking the team to a safe total.
However, the job wasn’t done yet. The visitors still had 10 English wickets to take in just two sessions. A fired-up bowling attack started ripping into the batting line-up of England, with wrecker-in-chief, Siraj, grabbing four wickets, including the one of Jos Buttler which ended the ‘keeper’s vigilance.
Even in the first innings, Siraj picked up four wickets on a flat track which didn’t offer much assistance to the bowlers. Speaking about the Hyderabadi’s performance, fielding coach Sridhar stated that the Lord’s slope was used to perfection on the last day.
“If you give a kid a toy, he will keep playing with it right? On seeing the slope Bharat Arun obviously told him to angle it across with a scrambled seam. So, he kept on doing it with grand success,” Sridhar said to Ravichandran Ashwin in the latter’s video on YouTube.
“Bharat Arun imparted a lot of knowledge” – Laxman Sivaramakrishnan on Mohammed Siraj’s rise
Former Indian spinner Laxman Sivaramakrishnan credited much of the success to Bharat Arun. The duo has been in touch since Siraj’s early days and coming into the Indian side was a smooth process for Siraj considering he had Arun’s backing throughout.
“Siraj’s success also has a lot to do with Arun. When he was the coach for Hyderabad for a year or so, he identified Siraj. And to Siraj’s credit, he had the hunger and desire to learn. Arun imparted a lot of knowledge.”
“Siraj has just followed him. Some people might doubt it. Be sceptical whether it is the right thing to do or not but Siraj took Arun as his guru and went about doing exactly what he wanted him to do. Arun must have then passed it on to Shastri,” Sivaramakrishnan was quoted as saying to Hindustan Times.
Going into the third Test at Headingley, Team India will once again bank on Mohammad Siraj to deliver the goods when the going gets tough.